Robert W. Graeff, Ed.D.

Program Chair, Education Leadership
Program Lead, Masters of Arts in Leadership in Learning
Professor of Education, Mission Valley Campus

As a San Diego native and a PLNU alumnus, Robert Graeff is thrilled to be "back home" teaching at PLNU. In 40 years of service in public education within San Diego County, he enjoyed many wonderful experiences serving as a classroom teacher and school administrator. After teaching for 11 years at Kearny and Hoover high schools in San Diego City Schools, he had the pleasure of serving for seven years as vice principal at Roosevelt Junior High and Mission Bay High School. Leaving San Diego Unified in 1994, he led Vista High School, the largest high school in San Diego County, for seven years. Then, he spent the next seven years in Ramona Unified as assistant superintendent for Educational Services before moving to the position of Ramona's district superintendent of schools for the past eight years. Thanks to a wonderful and dedicated leadership team, Graeff was honored in May 2014 by being named the Superintendent of the Year by ACSA for San Diego and Imperial counties. Following his retirement in July 2016, he was further honored to be offered the opportunity to work at PLNU in the Education Leadership program. While moving from K-12 education to university work, he sincerely hopes he will never forget the awesome responsibility assigned to school leaders who are charged with serving as the instructional leader for their respective organizations, keeping the needs of students and their families in the forefront of every decision.

A favorite Bible verse upon which he relied throughout his own administrative career comes from Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." It is his most fervent prayer that each of us rely upon His leadership as we learn together and strive to improve our local surroundings in accordance with His will.

Education

  • Ed.D., Education Leadership, Northern Arizona University
  • M.A., Education (with Administrative Services Credential), Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Single Subject Teaching Credential (Music and English, K-12), San Francisco State University
  • B.A., Music, United States International University (California Western program)

Courses Taught

  • Instructional Leadership – GEL 603
  • Equitable and Socially Just School Communities – GEL 604
  • Professional Learning and Growth Leadership – GEL 607
  • Applied Psychology of Learning – GED 670

Experience in Field

  • Superintendent, Ramona Unified School District
  • Assistant Superintendent, Education Services, Ramona Unified School District
  • Principal, Vista High School, Vista Unified School District
  • Assistant Principal, Mission Bay High School, San Diego Unified School District
  • Assistant Principal, Roosevelt Junior High School, San Diego Unified School District
  • Classroom Teacher, Hoover High School, San Diego Unified School District
  • Classroom Teacher, Kearny High School, San Diego Unified School District

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member, California Association of Professors of Educational Administration
  • Member, Association of California School Administrators
  • Chair, North Inland Special Education Region Special Education Local Plan Area
  • Chair, North County Professional Development Federation
  • Chair, Vice Principals Council, San Diego Unified School District
  • Volunteer, Escondido Youth Baseball
  • Volunteer, Escondido Girls Softball League
  • Volunteer, Adult Choir, Emmanuel Faith Community Church
  • Minister of Music, Southwest Baptist Church
  • Director, Adult Choir, First Southern Baptist Church of Lakeside

Awards and Honors

  • Superintendent of the Year, Association of California School Administrators, San Diego and Imperial Counties
  • Assistant Superintendent of the Year for Curriculum and Instruction, Association of California School Administrators, San Diego and Imperial Counties
  • EXCEL Teacher of the Year, San Diego County
  • Recipient of one award for National Blue Ribbon School
  • Recipient of five awards for California Distinguished School
  • Recipient of five awards for California Gold Ribbon School
  • Recipient of two awards for National School to Watch
  • Recipient of four awards for California Title I Academic Achievement School
  • Recipient of one award for California Exemplary Career Technical Education
  • Recipient of one award for California Model Continuation School
  • Golden Oak Service Award, California State PTA

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Adopt-A-Kid: A Motivational Strategy for At-Risk Students in Urban Middle schools, 1989
  • Presenter, North County Professional Development Federation, 2008
  • Presenter, Panasonic Foundation, 1994
  • Presenter, San Diego County, Regional Occupation Programs, 1993 and 1994
  • Presenter, San Diego County Office of Education, Testing and Evaluation Division, 1999
  • Presenter, San Diego County Office of Education, Education Services Division, 2001